Bearded dragons are reptiles native to Australia. They are also known as monitor lizards or dragon lizards.
These lizards are very friendly and love to play with kids. In fact, they are often kept as pets because they are very cute and cuddly.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous animals that feed mostly on insects, worms, crickets, cockroaches, and other invertebrates.
They also eat fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, and spinach.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that has become quite popular over the years.
It is rich in vitamins and minerals and is considered to be a superfood. The question is whether bearded dragons can eat spinach. So, let’s find out!
Let’s Talk About Spinach
Spinach is one of the most common types of greens found in grocery stores. This leafy green vegetable is nutritious and delicious.
If you want to learn more about it, here are some facts:
- Spinach contains high amounts of vitamin K, which helps your bones grow strong.
- It also contains folate, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
- It provides essential nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and sodium.
- It is low in calories but high in fiber.
- It can help prevent cancer.
- It is good for pregnant women.
- It improves digestion and increases energy levels.
So, spinach is really healthy to eat and something of a superfood. The question now is, what nutritional value does this leafy green hold?
Let’s find out in the next section!
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Spinach?
One cup of cooked spinach has only 40 calories. It is also packed full of nutrients. Here are a few important things you should know about this veggie:
- One serving of spinach offers at least 10% of your daily requirement of folate, an antioxidant that helps protect against birth defects and nerve damage.
- It also supplies 20% of the recommended amount of vitamin A. This nutrient is necessary for healthy eyesight and skin.
- It provides 5% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. vitamin C supports collagen formation in your body, helping your tissues heal when injured.
- It has almost half of the daily value for vitamin B6. This vitamin plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, and nervous system function.
- It also contributes 15% of the recommended daily intake of riboflavin, another type of vitamin B. Riboflavin is needed by the body to make DNA, RNA, coenzyme A, and ATP.
- It supplies 8% of your daily requirement of folic acid. Folate is required for red blood cell production and tissue growth. It also aids in preventing neural tube defects during pregnancy.
- It is also a great source of iron. Iron is needed to produce hemoglobin in your red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.
- Besides being extremely nutritious, spinach is also very easy to cook! All you need is water and a microwave oven. To prepare a simple dish, simply boil your spinach leaves until soft. Drain them thoroughly before eating.
Now that we have learned what makes spinach so special, let us move on to the main topic of our article: whether bearded dragons can eat it!
Are Bearded Dragons Able To Eat Spinach?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! In fact, bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they can eat both plants and animals.
Spinach is a safe food for bearded dragons to consume. This is backed up by many veterinarians and animal nutritionists.
However, it is important to note that some types of spinach contain higher concentrations of oxalic acid than others.
Some varieties are particularly rich in oxalates. If your lizard eats these types of spinach, then he may experience digestive problems due to their high content of oxalic acid.
So, if you want to give your bearded dragon this delicious leafy green, be sure to choose the right variety.
But even though spinach is safe for your bearded dragon to eat, it is not recommended that you feed it to them in excess.
Only small amounts sparingly should be given to your scaled friend.
But what are the benefits of feeding your bearded dragon spinach? Let’s take a look in the next section.
Benefits Of Adding Spinach To Your Bearded Dragon’s Diet
First off, it will keep him healthier. Since spinach contains lots of vitamins and minerals, it will help keep your lizard’s immune system strong.
Also, since it is packed with fiber, it will add bulk to his diet, making it more difficult for him to digest large quantities of other foods.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables you can offer your bearded dragon.
Another benefit of adding spinach to your bearded dragon’s diet is that it will make him more colorful.
As you probably know, the color of your reptile’s skin depends on the concentration of melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells, in its skin.
These cells are activated when stimulated by certain hormones.
When your bearded dragon consumes spinach, it stimulates the production of these hormones, resulting in an increase of melanocytes in his skin.
This means that his coat becomes darker and shinier. Thus, providing your lizard with spinach regularly will make him look more attractive to potential mates.
Of course, there are several other reasons why you should provide your bearded dragon with spinach.
But do you really want to hear about all of them? Then read on. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about spinach.
What Happens If You Feed A Bearded Dragon Spinach Too Often?
One thing that must be considered is that you cannot overfeed your bearded dragon with spinach because it could cause him harm.
The reason is that spinach has been found to have laxative properties.
Although it does not affect most reptiles, it can be harmful to those that have weak digestion systems.
Therefore, if you notice any signs of diarrhea in your bearded dragon, you should stop giving him spinach immediately.
Is It Bad To Feed Your Bearded Dragon Spinach Daily?
No, it isn’t bad to feed your bearded dragon spinach daily. Actually, you should only give him spinach once every few days.
It is best to avoid giving him spinach at least three times per week so that he doesn’t get used to eating it.
And don’t forget to always supervise your reptile while he eats.
How Much Should I Give My Lizard?
Now that we’ve learned how dangerous it can be to overfeed your bearded dragon, let’s talk about the amount of spinach that you should give him each day.
For starters, remember to always measure out only small portions. Too much of anything can be bad for your lizard.
It might also confuse him, so try to limit the time that he spends eating it.
And last but not least, never allow your bearded dragon to eat more than half of his daily ration at once. This is simply not healthy for him.
How Should You Prepare Spinach For A Bearded Dragon?
It is important that you prepare spinach properly before feeding it to your bearded dragon.
In order to ensure that it is safe for him to consume, wash it thoroughly first. Remember to rinse the leaves well under running water, then dry them completely.
After that, chop up the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Make sure they’re cut no smaller than 1/4 inch wide.
If they’re larger, then slice them into even smaller chunks.
Can You Add Other Vegetables To His Diet?
Although you shouldn’t add spinach to your bearded dragon’s food mix, you can still supply him with some vegetables.
However, keep in mind that this is only okay if you use fruits and veggies that are similar in size to spinach.
So, if your lizard likes carrots, then you may want to consider offering him one once in a while.
On the other hand, if you think that he’d like broccoli better, then you should definitely include it in his diet.
Turnip Greens – If you wish to make your bearded dragon healthier, then turnip greens will be the perfect choice for you.
These are actually the leaves from the turnip plant. They are generally green and contain lots of nutrients.
Not only that, but they can also help improve your bearded dragon’s skin condition.
You should start by washing these greens thoroughly. Then, chop them up into tiny bits. Don’t worry if some remain whole as long as they aren’t too large.
As soon as possible, offer them to your bearded dragon. But do take note that you should only feed him one or two handfuls per meal.
Watercress – Another vegetable that you can add to your bearded dragon’s diet is watercress. Unlike spinach, this is not a leafy green.
Instead, it is a herb that grows underwater. It contains lots of vitamin C and calcium.
Since it tastes sour, you should only offer it to your bearded dragon when he is thirsty.
If your lizard seems hungry, then you can give him a piece of fresh fruit instead.
Collards – The collard plant is another option for you.
This perennial herb is commonly found growing in Southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Collards grow tall and green and have an interesting taste. You need to prepare them similarly to spinach.
Wash them thoroughly before chopping them up into very fine slices.
Once you’ve prepared the collards, then you should feed them to your bearded dragon sometimes.
Grape Leaves – Grape leaves are sometimes used as a natural remedy for diarrhea.
But don’t expect your bearded dragon to experience this benefit. Even though they look like regular garden lettuce, grape leaves are actually quite different.
Their leaves are typically dark green in color, and their stems are usually thicker. To prepare them, just follow the same steps as above.
Dandelions – Dandelion roots are often used to treat constipation and reduce inflammation in humans.
But because dandelions are toxic to reptiles, you must never offer any of them to your bearded dragon unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
First, you’ll need to remove the yellow flowers from the stem. When you do so, you’ll notice that there are four small buttons on each flower.
These buttons represent the stamens.
Next, you’ll need to wash all the parts thoroughly.
Afterward, you’ll need to boil them until they become soft. Once they’re boiled, then you’ll need to strain the liquid.
Finally, you’ll need to pour this mixture over your lizard’s food.
Should A Bearded Dragon Eat More Greens Or Protein?
When it comes to providing your bearded dragon with proper nutrition, you should always consider his unique needs.
And while it may seem logical that they eat more protein than vegetables, you need to remember that protein is not the most important part of your bearded dragon’s diet.
In fact, most vitamins and minerals are much more essential for their health.
So, when it comes to feeding your pet, you should always make sure that you provide enough veggies.
However, you should also ensure that he gets plenty of protein.
Your bearded dragon will require about 1/3 cup of food daily. This amount includes both cooked and raw foods.
Of course, you should be careful that no bones or other hard items get mixed in with the rest of the food.
Also, you should avoid giving him foods containing artificial additives.
If you want to learn how to properly care for your bearded dragon, then you should check out our article entitled “How to Feed A Bearded Dragon”.
We’ve included some helpful tips in that article that could help you better understand how to care for your bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragon Diet: How Much Food Should I Give My Lizard?
The best way to determine how much food you should give your bearded dragon is by measuring his weight.
If you can accurately measure your bearded dragon’s weight, then you can use this information to calculate how much food you should be offering him.
For example, if you weigh your lizard at around 10 pounds, then you would need to provide him with roughly 3 cups of food daily.
However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t simply rely solely on your lizard’s weight to calculate his nutritional requirements.
Instead, you should also take into consideration his age and activity level. Younger lizards tend to have higher energy requirements than older ones.
Meanwhile, active animals tend to have higher energy demands than less active ones.
As such, if you want to figure out how many calories your bearded dragon requires, you should first assess his activity level.
Only after you have determined his activity level should you then determine how many calories he needs.
In terms of calculating how many calories you should be feeding your bearded dragon, you should start by dividing his body weight by 100.
Then, multiply this number by 15. The total resulting value represents your bearded dragon’s calorie requirement.
After you’ve calculated this number, you should divide it by two. This is because you don’t want to feed your bearded dragon too little or too much.
Too little food could result in underfeeding. On the other hand, too much food could lead to overeating.
You should only increase the amount of food that you’re offering your bearded dragon once every week.
Otherwise, you risk causing a problem known as obesity. Obesity occurs when an animal eats more food than what its metabolism can handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, we’d like to answer some frequently asked questions regarding bearded dragons.
How Much Spinach Can A Bearded Dragon Safely Eat?
Feeding your beardie some spinach is beneficial for their health. However, you should not give them this leafy green more than once every two to three months.
While the natural fiber is good for beardies, the high levels of oxalates can be poisonous to these animals if they consume too much of it.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, bearded dragons are able to eat tomatoes. In fact, they enjoy eating all types of fruit including apples and bananas.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
Yes, watermelon is one of the fruits that bearded dragons enjoy eating. They’ll even gobble up any pieces of melon that you cut off from the rind.
Are There Any Foods That Are Off-Limits To Bearded Dragons?
No, there aren’t any foods that are generally considered “off-limits” for bearded dragons. However, certain foods can cause problems for your pet.
These include raisins, grapes, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic, and most commercial fish products.
Also, avoid giving your bearded dragon anything that has sugar added to it.
Is It Safe To Give My Beardie A Raw Diet?
A raw diet is safe for your bearded dragon. However, you should always make sure that you monitor him closely to ensure that he doesn’t get sick.
If your bearded dragon starts showing signs of illness, then you should seek medical attention right away.
If you’re thinking about getting a bearded dragon, then you need to know that they require a lot of work.
As such, it’s important that you prepare yourself well before buying one.
Knowing what foods are and are not beneficial for these amazing lizards is a great place to start.
With the help of this article, we hope that we have been able to answer your questions about whether spinach is a good food to feed your bearded dragon.